Commercial Real Estate Investment/Expert Profile

Jim Avancena, CPM


Best qualified to answer questions that involve commercial leases, that is, basic issues as well as the often unexpected effects of the complexities and inter-relationships of the provisions a lease may contain, explain how seemingly innocuous text in your lease can have a major impact on a Tenant or Landlord and their business operations, and the common practices utilized in the industry. I can untangle most matters that may come up from the time a tenant begins searching for a office or store space and the lease acquisition process, concerns related to remodeling/improving the leased premises, moving-in, subletting or assigning the leased space, and a long list of problems that may come up during the lease term and even after a tenant moves out. I have practical experience with most property management issues and resolving landlord and tenant disputes - especially those involving what may appear to be overcharges assessed for additional lease charges like CAM costs, operating expense reimbursement, real estate taxes, utilities, construction improvements etc. Note that I am not an attorney and cannot provide legal advice.

Experience in the area

Thirty years active experience in the commercial real estate industry as a licensed real estate broker in the Washington DC Metro area (DC, Northern Virginia & Maryland). I have been admitted (approved) by the Maryland and DC courts to testify as an expert witness on the subjects of Commercial Leasing and Property Management in the area of standard industry practices. I have had a business for the last 14 years advising virtually every form of business entity from large national corporations to the smallest ma & pa new businesses regarding a wide range of commercial real estate matters in addition to property management and commercial leasing.


Currently my three children keep me so busy that it is difficult to participate in organizations with continuing and specific time requirements.


I publish a local commercial real estate newsletter titled: "Tenants First". My firm was the subject of a high profile Washington Post business section cover page (2.25 full pages) feature story on January 13, 1993; titled "Overcharging Overhead".


BA in Political Science from Memphis University, and five years of study in the real estate development summer program at MIT. I was certified as a commercial property manager (CPM-IREM), and currently hold a brokers license in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Awards and Honors

The same plaques and honors that most others in my industry have earned. I have none that I consider especially meaningful.

Past/Present Clients

Past clients include: The World Bank, George Washington University, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, US Department of Commerce, The American Benefits Council, K-Mart Development, many law firms, a national union, other major organizations, and many, many small business firms and retail operators that I am most honored to serve. I estimate more than 1,500 firms/organizations.

What do you like about this subject?

I enjoy helping straightforward, hard working tenants and property owners with lease, property management and transactional problems that are often more complex and/or financially perilous than they realize.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Although there are many impressive and erudite male and female practitioners in the commercial real estate industry that have greater knowledge than I, it is constantly amazing to see how many agents make a living without knowing what they are doing.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Commercial Real Estate is incredibly under-regulated considering the vast dollar amount of the total transactions that occur each year.

Average Ratings

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
ted03/04/15101010Thank you for the the evaluation, it .....
John10/18/13101010Thanks, Jim, I gather there is no .....

Recent Answers from Jim Avancena, CPM

2014-08-08 CAM charges raised significantly:

Robyn:    I agree with your attorney that legally challenging your landlord regarding flawed CAM charges would be a waste of time.   The cost to litigate the case would far exceed the excessive amount

2014-08-03 CAM charges raised significantly:

Robyn:  People have used many expressions to take the place of "cam fee/cost" such as: "Reimburseables", "Common Costs", "Public Area Expense", Maintenance Charges", "Operating Costs" or "Operating Expenses"

2014-07-28 CAM charges raised significantly:

Robyn:    It seems as though you are mixing monthly ($50/mth)and annual fees in your first paragraph, other wise I can only think that your monthly fee for cam on April 1st jumped to $701 per month(?)

2014-03-01 lease question please:

Gabe:    It seems that you have a strong legal position since the landlord has cashed your annual payment, however, lease law varies depending upon your specific geographic legal jurisdiction regarding

2013-12-09 Commercial Rental Commission:

Carolyn:    First you need to have a IMPARTIAL expert opinion of the current level of market demand for your kind of space and know what the realistic appraised sub-market rental is for your particular


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